Madagascar: Plague Claims More Than 30 Lives

An outbreak of plague more vicious than the bubonic strain called the Black Death has killed 39 people in Madagascar, the government said, according to an AFP report.

A government doctor, in a statement read to AFP, said 90 percent of the cases were pneumonic plague, apparently much more vicious than the common bubonic plague that can kill in three days.

"There is an epidemic in Madagascar which is currently affecting five districts (out of 112). Eighty-six people have been inflicted by the plague, of which 39 have died," said the health ministry in a statement read to AFP.

According to the BBC, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned in October that Madagascar was at risk of a plague epidemic.

The outbreak has been blamed on an infestation of rats in residential areas due to uncontrolled deforestation.

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